DC, 3 Md. counties get millions to modernize bus fleets

Three Maryland counties and D.C. have been awarded some big grant money to modernize their buses and facilities.

More than $51 million is going to D.C., as well as Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties, in Maryland, as part of two Federal Transit Administration grant programs: the Buses and Bus Facilities Program and the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program.

The biggest winner was Prince George’s County, which was awarded $25 million in grant money to fund its “Proud to Charge” Zero Emissions and Sustainable Transportation Program. In a statement, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said the county will add an additional $6.25 million in local funding to the effort.

“With these grants, we will create even more sustainable modes of transportation for Prince George’s County residents, increase access to transit, and make a positive impact on our environment as we work to combat the effects of climate change,” Alsobrooks said.

According to the Federal Transit Administration, the county was selected because its plan included buying zero-emission battery electric buses and upgrading the electrical system at its transit depot. The county also stated it would add electric chargers at transit hubs and install a microgrid with the money.

Montgomery County was awarded almost $15 million to buy 13 new hydrogen fuel cell buses and to build a green hydrogen fueling site at the David F. Bone Equipment Maintenance Transit Operations Center in Gaithersburg.

“This is the first project of its kind on the East Coast and drives forward several of our priorities, including converting our bus fleets to clean energy, reducing harmful emissions and improving our transit system —all in alignment with our ambitious climate goals,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement.

“I’m pleased that the Federal Transit Administration selected our project for this competitive award, and I want to thank the Maryland Delegation for supporting the effort,” he said.

Also, the Maryland Transit Administration was awarded almost $2 million on behalf of Anne Arundel County to buy diesel-electric hybrid buses as part of the county’s five-year plan to transition to a zero-emission fleet.

The District will receive close to $10 million in grant money to help buy battery electric buses to replace diesel vehicles and increase the size of the DC Circulator fleet, according to the FTA.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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